Gary Lineker mocks fan park in England as BBC host watches from Qatar

England fans at Boxpark Croydon in good voice ahead of Iran game

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BBC host Gary Lineker mocked the support in a Manchester fan park during coverage of England’s opening World Cup game against Iran on Monday. The former Three Lions striker was broadcasting from Qatar as he took a look at fans gathering on a weekday lunchtime in preparation of Gareth Southgate’s side’s first game of the winter tournament.

As the BBC switched coverage to fan parks in England, Lineker commented on the lack of atmosphere in Manchester. “We always check out the scenes back at home,” Lineker said. “With fanparks and let’s say it’s generally a bit different in summer. This is Manchester… I am sure it will liven up a bit.”

Fellow pundit Micah Richards claimed that they needed the former Manchester City defender back in the City to improve the atmosphere, before Lineker added: “It’s a World Cup, let’s get excited.”

There were several empty seats in the fan park in Manchester, though fans have been asked to attend the venue at lunchtime on a Monday in order to watch the opening World Cup among fellow England supporters.

England vs Iran LIVE: Score and updates from World Cup clash

Though despite the lack of atmosphere in Manchester, fans are likely to be able to watch kick-off as opposed to those who have travelled to Qatar. Fans travelling to the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha have been facing a two-hour wait to get into the ground.

Lineker gave an update on the situation. “We interrupt briefly to tell you that we’re getting reports that England fans have had a two-hour wait to get into the stadium due to a problem with the FIFA Ticketing app,” the BBC host said.

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“There are lots of empty seats, you can see that, there are long queues and fans haven’t yet gone into the stadium, hopefully that resolves itself. We will update you should we hear further on the issue.”

There have also been questions over the support in Qatar, as in the opening game of the tournament which saw the hosts lose 2-0 to Ecuador, there were many empty seats in the ground.

The host nation have also been previously accused of paying actors to play fans during videos that were posted of several countries, including England, ahead of the World Cup.

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